Q:

Where does hydrogen peroxide come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Hydrogen peroxide can be manufactured in a number of different ways, but the most common methods involve the reaction of oxygen with isopropyl alcohol and anthraquinone. Some of the uses of hydrogen peroxide include as a bleaching agent and in the manufacture of other chemicals.

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Full Answer

Hydrogen peroxide also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make it useful for a variety of medical and cosmetic purposes. However, the chemical has to be severely diluted for uses, as solutions containing more than 8 percent hydrogen peroxide are corrosive to the skin.

Most commercial grades of the chemical contain somewhere between 35 and 90 percent hydrogen peroxide in a solution of water and trace amounts of stabilizers.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is hydrogen peroxide an acid or a base?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide is slightly acidic pH of 6.2 and is, therefore, similar to milk or rain water. That is the pH of hydrogen peroxide at full concentration; all hydrogen peroxide solutions sold commercially are diluted and are more acidic because they actually have a lower pH.

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  • Q:

    Does hydrogen peroxide expire?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide, which is a weak acid, does expire. If the container remains sealed, it retains its full strength for about one year. However, once the container has been opened, hydrogen peroxide lasts for only 30 to 45 days.

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  • Q:

    What reacts with hydrogen peroxide?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide can act as an oxidizing or reducing agent at different pH values, enabling its reaction with both metals and nonmetals, such as iron and fluorine respectively. Hydrogen peroxide is highly oxidizing in acidic solutions, outranking halogens and halogen compounds, such as fluorine and chlorine dioxide, in oxidation potential.

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  • Q:

    What is hydrogen peroxide used for?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide is used as a bleaching agent and an oxidizer. It is often found in toothpaste formulas. A solution is also used as a disinfectant in wound care even though some medical experts warn against this. Hydrogen peroxide is commonly employed to remove blood and other protein stains.

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